Soccer Preview: Curtin goes for win 100 as the Philadelphia Union host San Jose
The Philadelphia Union take the field Saturday night under the lights at a snowy Subaru park against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Union are coming off a 3-1 victory in Montréal, where we got to see the short debut of Mikael Uhre. Tonight, we will see Uhre play for the first time in front of the Philadelphia Union crowd. If the Union win, it will be Jim Curtin’s 100th career win with the club.
You can watch the game on PHL17 or the online stream on the club’s website.
Before the game starts, the club will recognize Ilsinho, who announced his retirement from soccer earlier this week. Ilsinho will be the second person to bang the drum, a new pre-game ritual started by the club this year. If you’re going to the game, be sure to get there early and not miss this moment. Islinho will go down as one of the all-time greats to put on a Union jersey.
This will be the 13th matchup between the clubs, with the series tied 4-4-4.
In their most recent games, the Union have been victorious as they are unbeaten in six straight, taking us the whole way back to 2014.
Just like the Union, San Jose is coming off a comeback draw against the Columbus Crew. They were able to score two goals in the final ten minutes to secure a point at home. The two clubs haven’t met since 2019 and Curtin talked to the media this week about San Jose being a “unique opponent”.
“It’s a unique opponent and it’s one that we don’t get the luxury of playing too often,” Curtin said in his press conference on Thursday. “One thing that always is true is they always, always create chances and they create opportunities on the offensive side. Sometimes they take a lot of risks, sometimes they leave themselves exposed at the back and they play man for man.They’re a team that when they’re clicking and the talent that they have in the attacking pieces they can be very, very dangerous.”
This game was set to be the return of Jamiro Monteiro, who left the Union on a transfer to San Jose for General Allocation Money. Monteiro, however, will not be available to pay after receiving a red card last game giving him a one-game suspension. This suspension puts San Jose in a massive hole as they are already missing three midfielders due to injury. In addition, an essential piece to their back line will be missing, as well as center back Nathan is out with injury.
Union Scouting Report
On the other hand, the Union are relatively healthy, and the starting lineup should be similar to what we have seen the first two weeks. After receiving a red card last week, Julian Carranza will not be available for this match.
The only significant change would be adding Uhre to the starting lineup for his home debut, but who knows if Curtin wants to make that move just yet. So, it may be better to let Uhre come on during the second half one more game before giving him starting minutes.
Prediction: 2-0 Union
With the injuries and suspensions San Jose is facing, it is hard for me to believe that they will be successful on the road in Subaru Park. If Mikael Uhre gets the start, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him score his first MLS goal.
Uhre was a goal-scoring machine and has all the skills necessary to be a great striker in the MLS. The Union need to make sure that if they take the lead to keep pushing. We just saw San Jose tie a game with two goals in the final 10 minutes; who says they can’t do it again?
Mandatory Credit: Matt Ralph